No. 12164, Lance Corporal, Albert James FENN
2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday 26th September, 1917
Born in Exning in Q1-1898 (Newmarket 3b:525), the third son of William Alfred Leonard and Annie FENN (née MUSK) of King's Yard, Exning.|
There was an earlier Albert, Albert Edward, born in 1894 who sadly died less than a year later.
1901 census...At King's Yard, Exning were Albert , his father William  builders labourer, his mother Annie , and his brothers Leonard , and Alec [9 months] and his sister Annie . Whole family were Exning born.
1911 census...At Oxford Street were Albert a farm labourer, his parents, brother Leonard a labourer, Alec Redvers , Cecil Bertie , Percy Charles  and Stanley George . Sister Annie was a servant in Burwell. There were 9 children but two had died before this census.
The pension card for Albert and Leonard has their mother at King's Yard, Exning.
Albert was a younger brother of Leonard FENN ,(killed on 8th November 1914)
On 26th September 1917the 2nd and 5th Armies attacked on a front of about six miles between St Julien and Tower Hamlets, the 2nd Suffolks taking part in the advance
of Vth Corps towards Zonnebeke. The attack was timed for 5:30 am, the battalion having moved forward into position 4 or 5 hours previously.|
At zero hour the companies moved forward in a thick mist which prevented visual communications. They occupied a frontage of 400 yards, which, owing to the introduction of the pill box system and other developments in the German method of defence, was greater than had been the practice. They started off in support of the 8th King's Own but received orders to pass through them to the first objective.
The attack was very successful, all objectives being secured and the line carried forward about a mile. To the 2nd Battalion fell the honour of capturing the village of Zonnebeke. In the evening a strong counter-attack against the left brigade forced the line back on that flank, leaving it somewhat exposed.
Of the 37 of the battalion killed, only 10 have identified graves, (one of these was a local lad, James Bassett from Moulton),the rest are named on the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Albert is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium Ref: panels 40-41 162-162a
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details